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research into educational achievement, class and parental involvement

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Sociology AS Coursework Hypothesis The hypothesis I am going to research is ''middle class pupils, in Manchester Secondary schools, who achieve at GCSE, is a result of a high level of parental interest'' I will be using the theory Liberal functionalism to focus on the amount of interest parents give towards their children's schoolwork. My reasons for conducting this study is because whilst doing my GCSE's I had a great deal of encouragement from my parents and achieved good high grades. Also my working class friend did not achieve as well as I did due to the lack of interest that her parents had given her. Word count (103) Context and Concepts The concepts I am going to research are social class and parental interest. Social class can be defined as broad groups of people who share a similar economic situation, such as occupation, income, status and lifestyle. I will measure social class using the standard occupational classification. Class directly relates to my hypothesis by looking at middle class educational achievement. My second concept, parental interest, is defined as the amount of attention and contribution parents give to their children, with their education. ...read more.


Main Research Method and Reasons. The research method that I have chosen is a structured questionnaire as this will help test my hypothesis as structural theories, such as liberal functionalism, favour the positivist methodological approach as it gives data a scientific quality to the research. Structured questionnaires produce quantitative data. It measures as assesses achievement, which can be expressed in a form via exam results. This therefore allows me to show comparisons between both middle class and working class and allowing me to measure the amount of interest parents give to their children. This will be shown statistically in percentages. Structured questionnaires is reliable as it uses set questions with set answers, such as '' Did your parents attend parents evenings regularly?'' '' YES or NO''. This indicates that such a method is able to be replicated and similar results can be obtained, making it more scientific and valid. To operationalise my concepts, I will measure it through set questions and answers. For example, to test parental interest, I might ask ''Did your parents help you with homework?''. Also to operationalise social class I might ask an open question such as ''What are your parents occupation?'' ...read more.


out that working class parents may have had less flexible working hours which therefore lead the parents to not attend parents evening. Another theoretical problem is that, as my hypothesis looks at the educational achievement of when students took their GCSE's, my response needed from the students depend on them remembering their results. If they have little remembrance of what they achieved then this would lower the reliability and the validity of my research. Whilst carrying out this research, ethical issues will occur with the problem of intruding into people's lives, as I am dealing with sensitive and personal issues. The students might feel the need to disclose their exam results or their parents' occupation or even where they live, as they may be embarrassed. Another problem which may arise is the practical issues. By administering my sample at Loreto College means excluding those on Modern Apprenticeships and in jobs, which means a high number of those who underachieved and failed to go on to further education or those, whose parents emphasised immediate gratification. It also may administer to those around at the time or to those I feel will co-operate or to those who look friendliest which may lead to an unrepresentative sample. Word Count (298) ...read more.

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